NEWARK, N.J. -- As if the Florida Panthers needed yet another injury to a key player, forward Shawn Matthias left Saturday's game against the New Jersey Devils briefly after being hit in the face with a deflected puck 9:56 into the second period.
Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov took a shot from the right circle that appeared to be blocked by Devils forward Ryan Carter before hitting Matthias in the face. Matthias left the game on his own power. He returned at the start of the third period with several stitches above his left eye.
Matthias has nine goals and 12 points in 31 games this season.
We don't have any excuses tonight. Excuses are for losers. We've played with five defensemen before and it didn't affect us. We just had a bad second period and it cost us the game. We have to look in the mirror and blame ourselves.
— Bruins coach Claude Julien on his team's play with the loss of defenseman Johnny Boychuk